The purpose of the IRP program is to alleviate poverty and increase economic activity and employment in rural communities. Under the IRP program, loans are provided to local organizations (intermediaries) for the establishment of revolving loan funds. These revolving loan funds are used to assist with financing business and economic development activity to create or retain jobs in disadvantaged and remote communities. Intermediaries are encouraged to work in concert with State and regional strategies, and in partnership with other public and private organizations that can provide complimentary resources.
How much are the loans?
An intermediary may borrow up to $2 million under its first financing and up to $1 million at a time thereafter. Total aggregate debt is capped at $15 million. For purposes of Fiscal Year 2007, the maximum loan request that an intermediary may borrower is $750,000. An ultimate recipient borrower may borrow up to $250,000.
What organizations are eligible to become an intermediary?
Private non-profit corporations, public agencies, Indian groups, and cooperatives with at least 51 percent rural membership aimed at increasing income for producer members or purchasing power for consumer members may apply for intermediary lender status.
Who can apply for loan funds from the intermediaries?
The following entities are generally eligible to apply for loans from intermediary lenders provided they owe no delinquent debt to the Federal Government:
Individual citizens or individuals who have been legally admitted to the U.S.,
Those located in a rural area defined as an area with a population of 25,000 or less,
An entity that is able to incur debt, give security, and repay the loan,
A corporation, partnership, LLC, individual, non-profit corporation, public body.
What types of projects are eligible?
IRP funding may be used for a number of purposes but to be eligible, ultimate recipients must be located in a rural area. Under the IRP, a rural area is any area that is not inside a city with a population of 25,000 or more according to the latest decennial census. Some examples of eligible projects are:
The acquisition, construction, conversion, enlargement, or repair of a business or business facility, particularly when jobs will be created or retained.
The purchase or development of land (easements, rights of way, buildings, facilities, leases, materials)
To purchase equipment, leasehold improvements, machinery, supplies
Existing intermediaries and those entities interested in applying for the IRP will find the course helpful in understanding the process and purpose of the program to better market IRP loans, answer questions about IRP loans and support ultimate recipients. This course has been designed to help accomplish these goals.